Author Topic: NP or Semaphore folks question?  (Read 971 times)

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rray

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NP or Semaphore folks question?
« on: November 16, 2019, 11:30:44 AM »
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I'm looking for info on station stop semaphore aspects. Specifically the semaphores in front of NP depots. They have a square end blade, usually red with white stripe on the signal side and black with white stripe on the backside. I decided I want to build some of these for my upcoming layout.

My question is what are the aspects used.. blade pointing straight up, right, or down to stop, etc.  All I can find are black and white out of focus photos so I cannot see the spectical colors.

Thanks,
Robert
If you see it, get it, for tomorrow it may be gone!
Oh, and most importantly...NEVER do today what can safely be sloughed off till tomorrow!

C855B

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2019, 12:47:38 PM »
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A quick search for historic NP pictures revealed both types of train order semaphores, upper and lower quadrant.

Lower quadrant has two positions, blade 90° to mast (straight out, red roundel) is stop to pick-up orders, lowered 60° from horizonal (green roundel) is clear.

Upper quadrant seems to come later, and appears to have three aspects. Straight up (0°) is clear, with green roundel. I don't know this for absolute fact, but it appears that for a Form 19 order, which is pick-up order(s) in motion via train-order hoop, will have the arm 45° from vertical with a yellow roundel, and a Form 31 order - stop, requires signature - will have the blade 90° (horizontal) and show red.

Again, I'm no NP expert by any means, but from the very little I know about train order operation this seems to be what I could glean from the photos.
...mike

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rray

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2019, 02:07:51 PM »
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OK, Thanks. The depot I am modeling has 3 aspect upper quadrant semaphores, with short arms. It is a 2 story depot and the semaphore is the height of the second story.

So let me get this straight:
When the arm is straight up, roundel green, the train does not have to stop at that station.
When the arm is pointing 45 degrees up, roundel yellow, the trains slows to a speed they can hoop train orders on the fly.
When the arm is pointing 90 degrees right, red at the roundel, the train makes a stop at that station.

OK, it makes sense now. Thanks for the explanation, now I know a little about semaphores.
If you see it, get it, for tomorrow it may be gone!
Oh, and most importantly...NEVER do today what can safely be sloughed off till tomorrow!

cv_acr

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 04:04:58 PM »
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OK, Thanks. The depot I am modeling has 3 aspect upper quadrant semaphores, with short arms. It is a 2 story depot and the semaphore is the height of the second story.

So let me get this straight:
When the arm is straight up, roundel green, the train does not have to stop at that station.
When the arm is pointing 45 degrees up, roundel yellow, the trains slows to a speed they can hoop train orders on the fly.
When the arm is pointing 90 degrees right, red at the roundel, the train makes a stop at that station.

OK, it makes sense now. Thanks for the explanation, now I know a little about semaphores.

Yep.

wazzou

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 08:18:46 PM »
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Good discussion on semaphores right now on NPTellTale.io group.
Bryan

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jjb62556

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 08:55:27 PM »
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if you are looking for a NP FP7 in the Lowery colors, I have a Intermountain to unload, or I'm stripping it...Jim Brown

Chris333

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2019, 09:09:16 PM »
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if you are looking for a NP FP7 in the Lowery colors, I have a Intermountain to unload, or I'm stripping it...Jim Brown

In Z scale?   ;)

jjb62556

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2019, 10:37:50 PM »
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NO, N scale...Hate to strip it.

rray

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2019, 07:19:07 PM »
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I would love to find an NP FP7 in Z. Lowey is my favorite scheme.
If you see it, get it, for tomorrow it may be gone!
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rray

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2019, 11:21:38 AM »
+2
I read all the posts on the NPTellTale list, and to be honest, I am afraid to ask anyone any single question on that list. 

Some poor jamoke dare ask to be pointed in the direction where he could look up the meaning of NP semaphore aspects, looking for a website or knowledge of a Mainstreeter issue touching the subject.

Next came the first pirahana bite. A guy who knows the answer refered him to the Consolidated Code of Operating Rules for 1939, 1945, 1959, and/or 1967, as each timeframe is different. Telling him that would be his research starting point. He also needs to find four rare and for all intensive purposes unavailable rulebooks. Then he should pick the specific signals at a specific location and research what was used, how, where, and why, then refer back to the applicable rule book.

The next pirahnai, supporting the first, begins to confuse the original question by laying out a whole lot of reason while semaphore aspects can mean so many differnt things per individual semaphore, but is basic stuff for a real railroader, and to obtain some rule books and start studying the various signal aspects.
 
Then the feeding frenzy and the water really starts foaming with long confusing diatribe designed to confuse and humiliate the original question poster: "As a researcher and presenter over some decades now, the POV that still rankles me most is the one taken by people who don't want to do any homework - "just give me the answer".  Do, do the homework!"

They seem to have an attitude that you need to pony up your decades as a railroad historian BEFORE you dare ask a question. One guy describes how the NP differed from other railroads semaphore use while transitioning from a "Route Signaling System" to a "Speed Signaling System" and that's why you need to do all this research.

SO, the guy is researching NP semaphores, He knows that the people on that list KNOW the difinitive answers to his questions, but also how they feed on that list.

He carefully dips his toe to test the water and asks to be pointed in a place he can research what the semaphore aspects mean. Next these people who know, because they have spent decades researching and interviewing real NP railroaders, and compared results with other historians before they all died, jump bad on the dude. They befuddle him with intimidating and confusing bull, making jokes about people who want answers instead of wasting tons of time and money on research.

After the pirahana lay waste to the dudes carcass, they tell hime to join the defunct Yahoo Signaling List.

And the dude bows down and thanks those $#!ts for tearing him a new one, way more confused than when he started. 

I ask the same question here, and I get one quick answer that effectively boils it down to:

When the arm is straight up, roundel green, the train does not have to stop at that station.
When the arm is pointing 45 degrees up, roundel yellow, the trains slows to a speed they can hoop train orders on the fly.
When the arm is pointing 90 degrees right, red at the roundel, the train makes a stop at that station.

I can surmise that for Model Railroading purposes all I need to know for mainline semaphores is to just use the oldschool route signaling system, regardless if it was modified and otherwise confused by the real railroads every few years. 

When the arm is pointing 90 degrees right, red at the roundel, the train makes a stop at that signal till it changes.
When the arm is pointing 45 degrees up, roundel yellow, the trains slows to half speed till you see the next signal.
When the arm is straight up, roundel green, the train can highball on through.



That's all I care about as a model railroader. It's good enough, quick, and the modeler can go on about his life enjoying his hobby instead of painfully researching and otherwise wasting his valuable hobby time. I can plant a few signals and get on to modeling some realistic looking crap for my layout. That's fun. Asking historians about stuff you don't know about is NOT fun.
If you see it, get it, for tomorrow it may be gone!
Oh, and most importantly...NEVER do today what can safely be sloughed off till tomorrow!

nkalanaga

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2019, 02:08:19 AM »
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RRay:  You've got it, close enough. 

I have the 1959 and 1967 Consolidated Codes, thanks to my father working for the NP/BN.

When I started working in Prichard,, WV, along the NS mainline, NS signaling drove me crazy, as theirs is totally different.  Ordinary ABS is the same, but everything else seems to be "weird".  Some of the aspects I've seen in Prichard look more like signal malfunctions.  They're not even IN the Northwest rule books.

Finally, one of the model magazines explained that NS, and many eastern roads, uses an entirely different system of signalling, and the aspects aren't directly comparable. 
N Kalanaga
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nkalanaga

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2019, 03:21:43 AM »
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I didn't think to add this yesterday, but if one wants a rule book, they seem to be fairly common at train shows.  Almost any vendor selling timetables and other railroad documents will have one or more, although they may not be the right one for your road or era. 

"Back in the day", and probably today, every railroader was required to have a copy of the current rule book while working.  When a new version came out, the old ones were instantly useless, and, since they weren't considered "secrets", they were usually thrown away, or given to friends, relatives, or railfans.  There are a lot of old rule books floating around out there.

All of mine are the western "Consolidated Code", have the effective date printed on the cover, and one of the first pages lists the roads that used it.  I assume that the eastern versions also list the users, so it should be fairly easy to check if a given book is the one you need.
N Kalanaga
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cv_acr

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2019, 11:27:44 AM »
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I'm looking for info on station stop semaphore aspects. Specifically the semaphores in front of NP depots. They have a square end blade, usually red with white stripe on the signal side and black with white stripe on the backside. I decided I want to build some of these for my upcoming layout.

I ask the same question here, and I get one quick answer that effectively boils it down to:

When the arm is straight up, roundel green, the train does not have to stop at that station.
When the arm is pointing 45 degrees up, roundel yellow, the trains slows to a speed they can hoop train orders on the fly.
When the arm is pointing 90 degrees right, red at the roundel, the train makes a stop at that station.

I can surmise that for Model Railroading purposes all I need to know for mainline semaphores is to just use the oldschool route signaling system, regardless if it was modified and otherwise confused by the real railroads every few years.

When the arm is pointing 90 degrees right, red at the roundel, the train makes a stop at that signal till it changes.
When the arm is pointing 45 degrees up, roundel yellow, the trains slows to half speed till you see the next signal.
When the arm is straight up, roundel green, the train can highball on through.

Actually you're conflating different things now.

The "station stop semaphore signals in front of the depots" in your original question are Train Order signals. They indicate whether the train will be picking up orders. There's no route or speed indication, just "Stop" (Red), "Receive orders without stopping" (Yellow) or "clear/no orders" (Green).

Bringing in route and/or speed signalling is jumping to an entirely different topic.

"Route" or "Speed" signal indications are used in interlockings and block signal systems. Very different usage than train order boards. Different indication meanings and purposes. Interlocking signal indications can be much more complicated with multiple heads/blades on a mast which are read *in combination* to determine a signal's meaning. For example a "Red over Green" (or horizontal blade over vertical blade) might mean "Diverging Clear" in route signalling or "Slow Clear" in speed signalling installations.

If you're actually wanting to control traffic at junctions and crossings with multiple routes, it's a very different discussion than train order signals at stations.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 11:51:41 AM by cv_acr »

rray

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2019, 11:18:50 AM »
+1
 Yeah, that's exactly what the guys on the NP Telltale list say too.

Fortunetly for me, I'm just going to interchangably use train order semaphore signal aspects with mainline speed/route semaphore aspects. No sense making model railroading complicated when it can reasonable be boiled down to "green=fast=semaphore arm all the way up or all the way down=go" "yellow=slow=semaphore arm 45 degrees up or 45 degrees down=watch out" and "red=stop=semaphore arm horizontal".

Although there are in fact prototype rules, exceptions, confusions, etc., in the prototype railroad world, as model railroaders we don't have to follow those conventions. Only a fraction of 1% percent of master model railroaders, while rivet counting your layout, would ever be able to discern an issue while using the above conventions. :D

Exact prototype signaling and semaphore practice on a model railroad falls under the "who cares" catagory, while just including a train order semaphore on your depot would be appluaded as superdetailing the scene.
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Oh, and most importantly...NEVER do today what can safely be sloughed off till tomorrow!

nkalanaga

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Re: NP or Semaphore folks question?
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 01:50:35 AM »
+1
Treat it as a "manual block system", which could use the train order signals as block signals.  It requires each station to be staffed, but basically the signals stay at "stop" until the operator has checked with the next station that nothing is coming.
N Kalanaga
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